Are you a runner, or do you hate anything that even comes close to a slow jog?
Were you forced to run the mile in high school and hated every minute of it, or did you breeze through it like a natural-born marathon runner?
I used to dread running. Then one day I signed up for a 10k and next thing you know I was running a half marathon. It still isn’t something I absolutely love, but if I’m near the beach or lake, I enjoy it and make a point to get a run in. But each time I do, I have to make sure I follow a few tips to make it enjoyable and worth it for me.
Whether you like it or not, running is a fantastic form of exercise to get your heart pumping, improve cardiovascular health, reduce stress, and support weight maintenance.
The question to ask yourself is, “Do YOU like it?”
Doing exercise you hate won’t be sustainable and isn’t necessary when it’s possible to find a type of movement you love. If you force yourself to do exercise you don’t genuinely enjoy, you’ll start to resent it and will end up spending more time on the couch than moving.
If you do enjoy running or want to find out if you like it, I have four great beginner tips for you today:
1. Wear the Right Shoes.
It’s so important to choose shoes for your specific feet so you’ll feel supported and avoid injury. This step alone will make you super confident as you set out on your first run. An athletic store can assess your gait, arch, and other characteristics of your feet for the perfect fit. It’s like when Cinderella slid the glass slipper on, except you’re probably wearing spandex, not a gown. And those glass slippers would probably break if you ran in them.
2. Find a Running Buddy.
Running with a friend or family member is a fantastic way to keep you inspired and help you stick to your running routine. You might want to choose someone more experienced than you who you can learn from, or someone on your level, so you can run together at the same pace. Most cities have local running groups if you want to hit the pavement with a posse.
Every race I’ve run has been with a friend. I never would’ve made it to the finish line on my own!
3. Start Slow and Steady.
There’s no need for speed when it comes to running for fitness. Find a pace that works for you and build up your distance slowly to avoid injury or burnout. Remember that it’s okay to take walking breaks if you want – try the popular Galloway Method created by distance running coach Jeff Galloway of the 1972 Olympic team.
4. Set Realistic Goals.
Find practical ways to fit running into your schedule, making it easy for you to stick to a consistent routine. If you’re just starting out, you don’t have to run 10 miles on your first day. Try running one mile at a reasonable pace and build your way up from there. Don’t compare yourself to others – you’re bound to get frustrated and disappointed. Where you are right now is perfect.
Did you recently start running? Are you curious about it? What’s the next step for you?